A Guide to Allyship

Black Lives Matter & Why “All Cops are Bastards”

All credits are posted below; last updated on June 24th, 2020

What happened on May 25th?

Original Source

On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was in Minneapolis on business, far from his family and community, when four Minneapolis police officers murdered him in broad daylight. It was a modern day lynching as those police officers served as judge, jury, and executioner on an unarmed, non-violent, handcuffed Black man.  

He was dragged from his car, pinned to the ground, and choked even as he begged for air by officers using unnecessary and deadly force.

Video of the incident clearly shows the officer, Derek Chauvin, employing a deadly chokehold as Floyd repeatedly states, “I can’t breathe.” He was non-violent, unarmed, and begging for mercy in broad daylight, yet both officers present at the scene continued to use illegal force until it was too late.

We must contact those in power and urge them to defund the police, support those fighting on the frontlines in the global protests, and donate to the people and organizations who need it the most right now.

See here for additional resources outside of this doc to support or learn more about the MN protests.

May 26th: All four police officers are fired.

May 27th: Protests begin and police attack mostly peaceful protestors indiscriminately with tear gas, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, pepper spray.

May 28th: MN Police’s 3rd Precinct HQ is set ablaze. Trump publicly endorses shooting the protesters.

May 29th: Officer Derek Chauvin is charged of 3rd degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd's family calls to #RaiseTheDegree especially as Officer Chauvin and Floyd were coworkers for 17 years.

May 30th: Protests spike nationwide and hundreds are arrested and injured for their activism.

May 31st: Minnesota officials believe there are white supremacists attending demonstrations as agitators. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin has been moved to a Minnesota Department of Corrections facility.

June 1st: An independent autopsy confirms that George Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” whereas the initial report cited his cause of death to pre-existing medical conditions and potential drug use.

June 2nd: Protests continue globally. LA and NYC impose the harshest curfews in decades.

June 3rd: Chauvin is now facing second-degree murder, and the remaining 3 officers face charges as well.

June 4th: Breonna Taylor’s case is reopened, just before what would’ve been her 27th birthday (June 5th).

*** No more daily updates from this point on but the TLDR is that the protests continue globally, protestors have taken down statues of slave owners and colonizers, there has been incremental change nationwide ***

What you shouldn’t do

Stop sharing videos of Black people being murdered. There are many other ways to bring awareness and to make a point that doesn’t include exploiting or exposing Black trauma over and over again.

Stop sharing images of the faces of protesters. Ferguson activists died violently and/or mysteriously in the years since Mike Brown’s murder. You could be saving lives by not sharing. (@hinadirah)

Stop perpetuating performative activism and centering these tragedies on how good of an ally you are. You should not expect to be complimented or rewarded for being anti-racist. Instead, share information, donation links, petitions, resources, and educational materials.

Stop demanding your Black peers to educate you on social issues. Instead, read up on your own on how to be anti-racist and educate yourself with the following information and resources provided in this document.

Stop playing devil’s advocate when discussing racism with Black people.

Donations for the BLM Movement

  • Organizations

Petitions to Demand Justice

Contact People in Power

Demand justice for those killed at the hands of police: emailforblm.com

Demand the defunding of police and to reallocate budgets toward education, social services, and dismantling racial inequality: defund12.org

Do NOT demand for #8CantWait. It calls for police reform instead of police defunding, thereby increasing the number of tools and technologies police can use against us as well as increasing the scale of policing. These reforms don’t do enough to hold police accountable. “Reducing police violence by 72%” is not enough. Instead, demand for your local officials to fire cops, eliminate their budgets, and disarm the police.

Why “All Lives Matter” Is Harmful

Vanity Fair: Here’s why it hurts when people say, “All Lives Matter”

New York Times: Why “All Lives Matter” is such a perilous phrase

Harper’s Bazaar: Why you need to stop saying “All Lives Matter”


Why “All Cops are Bastards”

Good Cops Do Not Exist


The claim that individual cops can be good is rooted in white supremacist mythology that suggests racism is an individual act committed by anybody. Policing is not a question of individualism. It is not as if a random individual gets a gun, a badge, a police car, and a blue uniform. The police are a highly organized institution with systemic power. In order to understand any institution, it is important you start with the history of that institution, the institution of modern day policing evolved from the slave patrol system.

To suggest that there are good cops is like saying there’s good slave patrols or good colonizers. It acts as if policing is an individual act that isn’t a product of racial capitalism. A cop might have “good intentions”, but these good intentions don’t change the fact that they are a part of a system that is rooted in anti-Blackness. These “good intentions” don’t change the fact that the system they work for criminalizes the whole Black community.

Why We Say There Are No Good Cops


  • Racism is not an individual act
  • Racism = Prejudice + Power
  • Policing is a violent, sexist, anti-Black institution with impunity and systemic power
  • Modern policing literally originated as slave patrols and their primary mandate is to protect property
  • Police do not keep us safe
  • Police protect Nazis and white supremacists
  • Police frequently kill Black, brown, and queer people
  • Police kill more people than mass shootings each year
  • Police do not stop gender violence, they cause it
  • Sexual assault is the 2nd most common form of police brutality
  • Trans people are 3.7x more likely to experience police violence than cis people
  • Less than 1% of rapes lead to felony convictions
  • Police assault their partners 2-4x more than domestic violence in the general population
  • Police have not kept schools safer, instead the school-to-prison pipeline targets Black and brown youth
  • What does it mean to be “good at your job” when your job is to enforce racist, sexist, unjust laws?

The danger of “not all cops are bad” is that it opens up discussion for police reform as opposed to how what we really need to do is abolish the existing racist system that gave us cops and prisons in the first place.

“Cops are a necessary cornerstone of safety in a modern civilized society.”

“There are a few ‘bad apples’ that often make the whole look worse but the number of good cops still outweighs the number of bad ones.”

“The police state was originally formed out of discriminatory practices made to uphold racist and prejudiced ideas. This in tandem with a systematically flawed incarceration system disproportionately affecting brown people make the police, as a system inevitably biased and destructive to society.”

“Any position of power, specifically one able to determine the life or death of another person, will attract those who have narcissistic and psychopathic personalities, in which the abuse of their authority is not only what drives them, but also what ends up contaminating the system in its entirety, seen in how it’s looked down upon for a cop to report another cop, thus letting this cycle continue and grow.”

We must defund the police.

Sources: The Guardian, City Lab, New Republic

It is imperative to defund police departments across the country immediately, instead redirecting that money to Black futures and marginalized communities.

There is an incredible amount of investment going into Black and brown communities. But it’s going into criminalizing them. In Chicago, 17.6% of its budget ($1.5 billion) goes to the police, versus a collective 5.4% ($450 million) going to the departments of planning and development (which handles affordable housing), public health, family and support services, and transportation.

Policing doesn’t work. While crime was at historic low levels in 2015, American police managed to kill 1,146 people that year. Policing can’t be reformed by technology, and cameras aren’t slowing down or stopping police killing sprees. Even when officers know they are on video, they still seem to have no trouble killing.

The safest communities don’t have the most cops; they have the most resources.

Mapping Police Violence: Police killed 1,099 people in 2019. Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.

Furthermore, we must abolish the police.

Source: Chicago Reader, Inquirer, Mariame Kaba @prisonculture

Our policing systems are not working, and we need to replace them with something new. We need to reinvest in communities and strengthen other forms of conflict resolution outside of the ones upheld by racist and sexist institutions.

Police do not truly “serve and protect” most people. They must be demilitarized, disarmed, defunded, and eventually abolished. You’re probably wondering: What’s the alternative? What’s a world without police?

As a society, we have been so indoctrinated with the idea that we solve problems by policing and caging people that many cannot imagine anything other than prisons and the police as solutions to violence and harm. Alternatives to the police can exist when we rely on family, friends, and neighbors instead of calling the cops. There are community solutions for transformative justice – there are areas across the world that have pushed out police entirely, instead reinvesting in communities, building local grassroots power, and strengthening other forms of conflict resolution so that policing gradually becomes obsolete.


Imagining a world without police

Sources: @spizy.zine, @melegirma, @conflicttransformation

Another world is possible.

  • You’re experiencing a mental health crisis and you’re afraid. Imagine you call a 311 first responder trained in mental health crisis comes to your door. An hour later, you’re in a safe place with your consent and with plans for follow-up care.
  • Some folks are sleeping on benches in the park. Imagine a city employee comes by and checks in to see if they need a place to sleep, food, water, or healthcare. An hour later, those who want a different place to sleep have one.
  • Incidents of gun violence are rising in your neighborhood. Imagine a trauma-informed crisis intervention team works with community activists to disarm and de-escalate conflicts. People doing harm are connected to services that address the underlying problem.
  • Someone is behaving erratically and is in harm’s way. Imagine texting a number and an unarmed urgent responder trained in behavior and mental health comes within 5 minutes. An hour later, that person is safe and getting the support they need.
  • Someone seems to be snooping in car windows on your block. Imagine calling your neighbors who are trained in self-defense and de-escalation who help you approach the person. An hour later, the conflict is resolved and the person responsible is getting the support they need.
  • You are experiencing intimate partner violence. Imagine texting a number and a trauma-informed crisis intervention specialist meets you in a safe place. An hour later, you are working together to make a plan that will keep you safe long-term.
  • You don’t realize, but your brake lights aren’t working. Imagine a city employee signals for you to pull over, and says, “Hey – how about I replace those lights for you right here so no one gets hurt?” An hour later, both lights work and you’re at home.

Police & Prison Abolition FAQs

Sources: @soyouwanttotalkabout, Mariame Kaba @prisonculture, MPD150

  • “What about murderers and rapists?”
  • They’re already in government, in Congress, on the Supreme Court, in the White House, in the boardrooms and fraternities. Throwing a human being in a cage without any access to rehabilitation tools or counselors is not working. It never has.
  • Rather than rely on prisons to lock people up, we can work to transform the underlying situations that led such people to violence. Many women imprisoned for murder were incarcerated for defending themselves from abusive partners or fighting back against them.
  • Punishment-based approaches to social harms are the default in our society, but they have consistently availed us nothing. Preventive restraint is about engaging with people to prevent them from committing immediate planned violence, not disposing of them by banishing them to some form of detention and ignoring them.
  • “What about armed robbery?”
  • Crimes aren’t random. Most of the time, it happens when someone is unable to meet their basic needs through other means. By shifting money away from the police and toward services that actually meet those needs, we’ll be able to get to a place where people won’t need to rob banks.
  • “How would we stay safe?”
  • Are we safe right now? With record numbers of mass shootings, drug overdoses, sexual assaults, police murders, influxes or nationwide hate crimes, and endless instances of police brutality...are we really safe?
  • Police officers don’t do what you think they do. They spend most of their time responding to noise complaints, issuing parking and traffic citations, dealing with other noncriminal issues.
  • A “safe” world is not one in which the police keep black and other marginalized people in check through threats of arrest, incarceration, violence and death.
  • Most rapists never see the inside of a courtroom. 2/3 of people who experience sexual violence never report it to anyone. Those who file police reports are often dissatisfied with the response. Additionally, police officers themselves commit sexual assault alarmingly often.
  • “How can we fight crime?”
  • We don’t need more cops; we need more jobs, educational opportunities, arts programs, community centers, mental health resources, and more of a say in how our communities function.

Why Riots Work

Sources: Vox, Bustle, New Internationalist, The Red & Black

Violent demonstrations can and have spurred change.

Protesting is a valid and justifiable expression of frustration toward our political system, and it highlights the disconnection between the people and the political establishment in both parties. Many problems highlighted by peaceful protests are ignored until a real disturbance is created.

By drawing attention to some of the real despair in destitute communities, riots can push the public and leaders to initiate real reforms to fix whatever led to the violent rage. 

  1. Stamp Act Riots (1765): the British Crown had no right to tax Americans on anything at all
  2. Boston Tea Party (1773): first major act of defiance to British rule over the colonists
  3. Dorr Rebellion (1841): hugely expanded right to vote by lowering property requirement
  4. Detroit Riots (1967): accelerated deindustrialization and the exodus of whites from the city
  5. Stonewall Riots (1969): the beginning of the fight for LGBTQ equality and the first gay pride
  6. Kent State Riots (1970): student-led strike against US involvement in the Vietnam War
  7. Mount Pleasant Riots (1991): policies not allowing police to ask citizens of immigration status
  8. LA Riots (1992): reform of the LAPD after the brutal police beating of Rodney King

In the aftermath of riots, grievances long ignored now have to be taken into account – a strategy is now needed to undermine the new boldness of those no longer content to suffer in silence. To turn the tide against injustice, we need movements that are relentless, escalating and with a broadening base of participation.

In Defense of Looting


If it weren’t for “bad protesters” looting, the media might pay no attention at all. If protesters hadn’t looted and burnt down that QuikTrip on the second day of protests, would Ferguson be a point of worldwide attention? All the non-violent protests against police killings across the country that go unreported seem to indicate the answer is no. The media’s own warped procedure instructs that riots and looting are more effective at attracting attention to a cause. No matter how peaceful and well-behaved a protest is, the dominant media will always push the police talking points and the white-supremacist agenda.

As Raven Rakia puts it, “In America, property is racial. It always has been.” The idea of blackness was invented simultaneously with American conceptions of property: via slavery. The earliest working definition of blackness may well have been “those who could be property.”

On a less abstract level, there is a practical and tactical benefit to looting. Whenever people worry about looting, there is an implicit sense that the looter must necessarily be acting selfishly, “opportunistically,” and in excess. But why is it bad to grab an opportunity to improve well-being, to make life better, easier, or more comfortable? White people deploy the idea of looting in a way that implies people of color are greedy and lazy, but it is just the opposite: looting is a hard-won and dangerous act with potentially terrible consequences, and looters are only stealing from the rich owners’ profit margins.


Donate to help bail out protesters, by city

Original Source

What Asians can do to show up for the Black community

Sources: Michelle Kim, @jocekittyllama, @asianamericansforblm

Don’t call the cops. You may need to think more about this one, especially if your first reaction is "but they keep us safe!" There's tons of research on why the police don't actually keep us safe.

Unearth your internalized anti-blackness. Reflect on how anti-Blackness shows up in your  life – we  often miss our own biases. Be intentional about finding these blindspots. This can show up  more when feeling panic, fear, anger, etc. leading to actions like calling the police.

Challenge the model minority myth. When Asians are characterized as polite and law-abiding citizens with a higher level of success than other people of color, it's used as a racial hierarchy to perpetuate anti-Blackness.

  • These stereotypes create a monolithic narrative that leaves no room for the full range of diasporic and diverse experiences
  • The model minority myth is ultimately a means to denigrate Black Americans to denounce the existence of white privilege, to then perpetuate anti-Blackness and downplay the impact of racism and dsicrimination experienced by people of color in the US
  • This myth has continually been used to argue that Black Americans should be able to overcome and achieve, to pit Asian Americans against the Black community. It erases our common experiences while simultaneously weaponizing our differences against each other

Educate your family and friends on the injustices Black people face globally. Talking to your relatives is uncomfortable, but as non-Black people, we have the responsibility to try. We must explain the clear differences between our parents’ immigrant experiences and the Black experience both historically and in the present. Here are some ways for young Asian Americans to talk to first-generation immigrants about misconceptions on race and why it’s important for Asian Americans to stand with BLM.

Donate to organizations serving Black communities. (Links)

How non-Black people can support Black communities

Sources: @grieftips @ShowUp4RJ

Listen to Black people very carefully. They are telling us everything we need to know. Do not ask Black people, or other people of color, to educate you on white supremacy. Many answers are a Google search away.

Let the Black community lead the conversation. Do not bring anything else into the conversation that they are not speaking of.

Be humble. Watch out for feelings of fragility rising within self and look carefully into them before reacting. Do not take your fragility or questions to Black people.

Commit to and post publicly on your social media that you are dedicated to the eradication of white supremacy. While you catch up, Black people continue to die. Focus on building our numbers, not being right. Help resource the work of Black-led groups that are fighting for police accountability and abolition

Do not tone police or point at another “problem” by saying, “What about…” or “But how does violence beat violence?” This is gaslighting.

Go to the streets and demand justice. If you are white, use your bodies as shields to protect Black people from police violence. This is the clearest demonstration of the power of your whiteness. Join fights to defund the police.

Read. Below are a bunch of recommended anti-racist readings.

Challenge and educate your family and communities. No non-Black community is free from anti-Blackness. Make a commitment to “organize your own” for the long haul.

Be actively and vocally anti-racist. Come out as anti-racist and invite others to join you

How you can avoid calling the cops

Original Source (@tapioca_starch Part 1, Part 2)

Don't feel obligated to defend property – especially corporate "private" property. Before confronting someone or contacting the police, ask yourself if anyone is being hurt or endangered by property "theft" or damage. If the answer is no, then let it be.

If something of yours is stolen and you need to file a report for insurance or other purposes, consider going to the police station instead of bringing cops into your community. You may inadvertently be putting someone in your neighborhood at risk.

If you observe someone exhibiting behavior that seems "odd" to you, don't assume they are publicly intoxicated or on drugs. A traumatic brain injury or similar medical episode may be occurring. Ask if they are okay, if they have a medical condition, and if they need assistance.

If you see someone pulled over with car trouble, stop and ask if they need help or if you can call a tow truck for them. If the police are involved, they might give unnecessary tickets to people with car issues, target those without papers, or worse.

Keep a contact list of community resources like suicide hotlines. When people are contacted to "manage" such situations, people with mental illness are 16x more likely to be killed by cops than those without mental health challenges.

Check your impulse to call the police on someone you believe looks or is acting "suspicious." Is their race, gender, ethnicity, class, or housing situation influencing your choice? Such calls can be death sentences for many people.

Other Resources

  • My personal favorite progressives/leftists to follow on Twitter:
  • Companies that are matching employee donations:
  • Find friends who work at these companies, and try giving your money to them to donate so that you could multiply your donation, and make Big Tech’s pockets hurt
  • Netflix (200%)
  • Apple (200%)
  • Google (100%)
  • LinkedIn (100%)
  • AirBnB (100%)
  • DropBox (100%)
  • 13th – Netflix
  • American Son – Netflix
  • See You Yesterday – Netflix
  • When They See Us – Netflix
  • If Beale Street Could Talk – Hulu
  • The Hate U Give – Hulu with Cinemax
  • King in the Wilderness – HBO
  • Just Mercy – available to rent
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 – available to rent
  • Clemency – available to rent
  • Fruitvale Station – available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro – available to rent, also on Kanopy
  • Selma – available to rent
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Redefining Realness By Janet Mock
  • Sister Outsider By Audre Lorde
  • So You Want To Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison
  • The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism For The 21st Century By Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warm of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Racial Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga
  • Black artists to support 
  • Alfred – cartoons, storyboards
  • Afro_Ami – illustrations representing Black girls
  • Adisa Kareem – visual development illustrations, background and editorial work
  • Ana – character art, 3D art, sculptures for collectibles
  • Abelle – illustrations, organizer of #DrawingWhileBlack, colorful
  • Bex – illustrations, vampires, tiny homes, quiet scenes
  • Buttercup – illustrations and sequential art
  • Cas – illustrations
  • Céli – illustrations
  • Clementine – illustrations, curvy women, fanart
  • Charlot Kristensen – illustrations, bold colors
  • Chris Copeland – animation, storyboard art, animation
  • Dani – illustrations about mental health, identity, and the natural world
  • Dawn/Jay – illustrations, Black/POC fantasy romance and werewolves
  • Edge – illustrations, whimsical and colorful portraits
  • Emely – illustrations, fan art, merch art
  • Ernanda Souza – 2D fantasy art and games
  • Ethan Redd – stylized 3D art and games
  • Geneva – illustrations, Black women, relaxing scenes
  • Haven – character design
  • Ibim Cookey – hyperrealistic drawings
  • Jasmine Goggins – storyboards and 2D layouts
  • JC – illustrations, animation, concept art
  • Jeanette A – graphic novels
  • Jessica Gibson – children’s illustrations, nature, animals
  • Jestenia – children’s book illustrations
  • Jia – illustrations, Black characters
  • Jordan Quick – prints with proceeds going to National Bailout
  • Kiana Mai – illustrations, Pokemon fanart, storyboard art
  • Kijou – illustrations, graphic design, portraits
  • Kiwi – illustrations, visual art, game concepts, clay sculptures
  • KNIIO – illustrations and comics, colorful
  • Ladon Alex – illustrations and comics
  • Linnea – character design and worldbuilding
  • Mali – illustrations and fanart
  • Mars – illustrations, gay comics
  • Matthew B – storyboard art, heroes
  • Melty – illustrations, animation, cute things
  • Muna – character design
  • Nia – portraits
  • Okolo Oliver – hyperrealistic art
  • Patricia – illustrations influenced by cartoons and anime
  • Patrick Onyekwere – hyperrealistic ballpoint art
  • Pearl Low – storyboard and comics art, children’s illustrations
  • Rashad Redic – game developer
  • Ryan Alexander Lee – concept art, comics, illustrations
  • Sasha – comics and character design
  • Saskia – animation
  • Scott Zenteno – illustrations, designer, robots and environments
  • Silas Onoja – hyperrealistic paintings
  • Talia – portraits and character design
  • Wynton Redmond – story artist
  • Xavier – line drawings and designs
  • Yesenia Moises – children’s illustrations, toy designer